Economy limping as NRM wages costly Amama war


The ruling party is distributing Shs 250,000 per village across the country as a way of neutralising former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi.

The total amount the ruling party will spend in this campaign is valued at about Shs2bn with each district getting atleast Shs20m for that purpose.

Residents in Apac, Oyam and Kabale districts are already demonstrating citing the swindling of this money dubbed “President’s gift” by NRM bosses.

Senior spy, Brig Henry Tumukunde, was reportedly given Shs3bn to infiltrate Amama social media platforms and get him “out of the headlines” in newspapers and other media outlets.

NRM youth have confessed on several occasions having been paid money to switch sides in the Museveni-Mbabazi war.

Insiders agree the NRM party chairman is overspending on trying to win a war he waged against his former Secretary General and with “negative consequences”.

However, on several occasions, NRM deputy spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, has always dismissed the claim saying Amama poses no threat to Museveni and “will instead be eaten for breakfast leaving nothing for lunch”.

Shrinking economy

Reuters on Monday reported that the Ugandan shilling had touched a “new all-time low against the dollar”.

At 0928 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,640/3,650, weaker than Friday’s close of 3,605/3,615.

Traders say Uganda’s expanding current account and fiscal deficits were undermining confidence in the shilling which is down 23.7 percent against the greenback so far this year.

Uganda’s current account deficit was 8.5 percent of gross domestic product in fiscal year 2014/15 (July-June) and is expected to climb to 10.3 percent in 2015/16, according to the central bank.

A surge in public spending ahead of elections in 2016 is widening the budget deficit which the finance ministry projects will hit 7 percent of gross domestic product in 2015/16 (July-June) fiscal year, from 4.5 percent in the previous period.

Big spending

It was at the 2014 Kyankwanzi retreat that the current minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Evelyn Anite, proposed Museveni as a sole candidate in the 2016 elections.

Members of Parliament were funded to the tune of Shs 10bn to popularise the sole candidate project afterwards.

Each of ruling party’s 263 MPs was given Shs 4m per sub-county in his/her constituency.

Museveni also allegedly paid MPs Shs 40 billion to enable them clear debts and win them to his side.

An over Shs 30bn NRM delegates conference was called to fire Mbabazi from the office of NRM Secretary General (other reports say DC cost only Shs5bn).

Buying the vote

In 2014, The Independent Magazine, wrote that Museveni has already spent over Shs 50 billion to squash the ambitions of Mbabazi.

The Shs 50 billion already spent is about 15% of the Shs 350 billion that Museveni allegedly spent on his re-election campaign in the last election in 2011 which Bank of Uganda governor confessed having funded.

Museveni’s intelligence operatives were reportedly concerned about the billions of shillings believed to be on his accounts in various local banks and what they could mean should he chose to contest in 2016.

It was at the same time that National Bank of Commerce owned by Mbabazi and Amos Nzeyi, was closed.

In April 2015, the richest political party was seen requesting for funds from the public; party members, organisations and well-wishers, to fund 2016 campaigns.

In June 2015, The Independent Magazine further wrote that the new Shs 24 trillion budget was aimed at “vote buying”.

An additional Shs 1.3 billion would facilitate intelligence collection under the Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

Museveni also requested for a Shs 847 billion supplementary budget which was seen as 2016 campaign cash.

The bulk of this, about Shs50-70 billion, has been spent on neutralizing Mbabazi.

The president continues to spend

Estimates show that Museveni’s ruling party spent Shs 13 billion in 1996, Shs 30 billion in 2001, Shs 50 billion in 2006, and Shs 75 billion in 2011.

This projection shows that Museveni’s expenditure on his re-election grows by an average of 60% above previous expenditure, writes The Independent.

It should be remembered that after the 2011 elections, an economic crisis shook the country bringing untold suffering to Ugandans.

Shall we see the same inflation and its adverse effects after 2016?

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